Time-of-flight sensor leverages MEMS technology

Diagram of visual field
Ultrasonic sensor from TDK has multiple applications, including in virtual reality systems (Pixabay)
Chirp CH-101 sensor measure distance and proximity
The Chirp CH-101 sensor from TDK

MEMS technology is being used in more sensors to increase packaging density and functionality. TDK Corp. has now incorporated MEMS technology into a time-of-flight (ToF) sensor. The Chirp CH-101 sensor utilizes a tiny ultrasonic transducer chip to send an ultrasound pulse and detect echo responses in the sensor’s field of view.

The sensor comes in a 3.5 x 3.5-mm package that combines the sensor with a digital signal processor (DSP), on a custom low-power, mixed-signal ASIC. The sensor handles various ultrasonic signal processing functions, giving customers flexible design options for range finding, presence/proximity sensing, object detection/avoidance, and position tracking applications.

According to the company, the sensor maintains its accuracy regardless of target size or color, and can detect optically transparent targets. It is immune to ambient noise and can operate in all lighting conditions. The sensor’s field of view is 180 degrees, enabling it to support room-scale sensing.

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